Boasting the ultimate playground Mother Nature has to offer, an exploration to Far North Queensland is a must for adventurers and travellers alike. With plenty of idyllic spots combining two natural heritages, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, a wander to this region is a dream come true.
From the tourist hotspot of Cairns to the magnificent beaches of Port Douglas and the lush rainforests of the Daintree, to even the fishing hotspots further West in Weipa, there is something in Far North Queensland for every traveller.
But alas, no journey is complete without any preparation. So here are our top tips to exploring Far North Queensland from a local perspective.
Getting to Far North Queensland
Often referred to as the heart of the reef, Cairns is the touristy hub of Far North Queensland. For many, it is the point of access to the Great Barrier Reef with the advantage of close proximity to the Daintree Rainforest.
You can reach Cairns by air, with many direct national and international flights from main cities. Driving to Cairns is a possibility on the M1 Bruce Highway connecting North Queensland to South Queensland. The drive is long with a recommendation of at least a week or two weeks spent on the road discovering local sights and sounds. If you’d like to travel by rail, the Queensland Rail Travel operates the “Spirit of Queensland” which goes between Brisbane and Cairns five times a week. The railway journey is slow, taking up to 24 hours, and can be quite costly, which is why you should treat it as an experience and not just a mode of transport. Choose to upgrade to the premium rail bed service to get the chance to put your feet up during your travel. During your rail journey, venture to the club car where there is a bar that serves drinks and food. Toilet and shower facilities are available on the train. For those who prefer buses, hop on the Greyhound Bus or Premier Bus that travels up and down the East Coast. Bus journeys to Cairns can take a long time given the travel distance on road, so be aware of your situation and how much time you have to spend in Far North Queensland.
If you’re headed to Weipa, which is the gateway to the Western Cape York Peninsula and the fishing haven of the Cape, you can fly there from Cairns in just an hour and twenty minutes. The Weipa Airport is conveniently located 10 minutes from the town centre and hire cars and taxis are available at the airport arrival terminal.
You can also drive to Weipa from Cairns, which is 800km apart via the Peninsula Developmental Road.
Best Things to Do in Far North Queensland
Here are some of the best things to do in Far North Queensland.
The Great Barrier Reef
Begin your Far North Queensland adventure with a reef tour in the Great Barrier Reef. A spectacular sight that you mustn’t miss when in Australia, this World Heritage-Listed Area is filled with an abundance of colourful coral gardens, sea turtles, tropical fishes, and plenty of marine life that will take away the breath of both snorkelers and scuba divers alike. For those who prefer staying dry, take advantage of the glass bottomed boat tours that navigate around the Great Barrier Reef, or hop on a sailing trip to Port Douglas instead.
If you’d like to experience a whole new level of the Great Barrier Reef, jump on a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft tour to gain an unparalleled bird’s eye view of the reef.
Look out for some crocs
These magnificent beasts roam the region, so be sure to try and spot them out and about their local habitats. Drop into a wildlife park to get up close and personal, or go out on an adventure of a lifetime with Western Cape Eco Tours in Weipa. Promising a one of a kind experience that will amaze and entertain, bask in the natural beauty of Tropical Queensland and enjoy the wide array of birdlife, including sea eagles, herons, jabirus and more, followed by gigantic crocodiles that roam the place.
Walk the tracks
Count your steps as you walk the tracks of Far North Queensland’s national parks. From Barron Falls walking track in the Barron Gorge National Park to the rainforest in Cape Trib, there are plenty of places to explore.
For more leisurely strolls, head to Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas, or Queens Beach in Bowen, which is over 5 kilometres long.
Experience First Class Fishing
Head to the Barramundi Capital of Queensland - Weipa. Whether you join a charter boat, a fishing tour, or simply throw in a line from the shores or Gonbung Beach, Kerr Point, or Evans Landing, if you are an angler at heart, Weipa is the place to be.
Take advantage of the Albatross Bay Resort’s Catch ‘n’ Cook Experience where expert chefs will prepare and cook your catch of the day to perfection, then serve it up with some salad and chips. After all, nothing beats a hard day out fishing followed by a professional cooking up your prize for you.
Great accommodation in Weipa
An important aspect of a great holiday is to ensure that you book yourself into comfortable accommodation.
The Albatross Bay Resort guarantees first class service when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Daily continental breakfast is included as part of your stay. You’ll also be at the heart of the best bar and dining in town - the Deck Restaurant & Bar, the Sports Bar and the Beer Garden, offering a wide range of beverages and culinary delights.
Make the most of your travels to Far North Queensland and head in to the Albatross Bay Resort during your holiday.
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